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Body of man killed during robbery in Colombia arrives in Chattanooga, family says

by: AC Barker
Posted: Jan 14, 2024

Family members confirm to us that the body of Gregory Stewart Owens is now back in Chattanooga.

That's 2 weeks after he was gunned down in the streets of Cartagena during a robbery.

We continue to work to learn more details about what happened, and the arduous process Owens' family went through to get this situation resolved.

Depend on us to keep you posted.


A family is mourning the loss of a 59-year-old Chattanooga man who was shot and killed during a robbery last week in Colombia.

Now, they are learning that the process of getting his body back to where it belongs is an incredibly difficult process.

Takia Owens told us on Tuesday that her father, Gregory Stewart Owens, was celebrating his birthday the day he was killed.

Local news outlets report Owens was in Cartagena near the center of town on October 19th, when 2 thieves attacked him.

One report quotes police as saying the criminals tried to strip Owens of all his belongings, particularly a gold chain he wore around his neck.

Security cameras show Owens "resisted with all his strength," according to the report, and started to run away.

The robbers then opened fire, hitting Owens in the head and the chest. He died a few hours later at a nearby hospital.

So far, police have made no arrest, but investigators have reportedly found one of the motorcycles involved in the theft.

Another report says

"After the death of the American citizen, the mayor of Cartagena, William Dau, expressed his condolences to the family and loved ones of the victim. Likewise, he convened an extraordinary security council and expressed his willingness to support the Police and the Prosecutor’s Office in the necessary actions to clarify this homicide."

In a Facebook post, Takia Owens says

"On Thursday, October 19th my (our) daddy was taken away from me (us). It was his birthday and he didn’t deserve what happened to him. He just wanted to enjoy his birthday trip like he always does.... He always encouraged me, pushed me to be my best self, taught me how to be strong, how to love, be kind to others everything. Anytime I needed him he was on that highway with no question. I’m hurt. I’m angry."

Takia Owens also says her dad loved to travel and "going on new adventures," and "as much as I wish he hadn’t gone, I know there was no way I would have ever been able to talk him out of it."

We reached out to the U.S. State Department. A spokesman told us via email, "We can confirm the death of a U.S. citizen in Cartagena, Colombia. Out of respect for the privacy of the family, we have no further comment at this time."

"When a U.S. citizen dies abroad, the Department provides all appropriate consular assistance to the family and friends. Depending on the situation, this can include attempting to locate and inform the next-of-kin of the death, providing information on local burial or the return of the remains to the United States, assisting the legal representative with questions concerning the disposition of the U.S. citizen’s personal effects and/or estate, and preparation of a Consular Report of Death of a U.S. citizen Abroad."

We're working to learn more about what options Owens' family has, and how exactly they'll get his body back home.

The post, Body of man killed during robbery in Colombia arrives in Chattanooga, family says first appeared on ABC.

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